CVD is a general term that describes a disease of the heart or blood vessels. Although the incidence has fallen in recent years, it remains one of the major causes of death in the developed world.
In fact, concern about CVD was the dominant factor leading to the formulation of national dietary guidelines, which were largely based on the “diet-heart” hypothesis.
Essentially this arose from the belief that the cholesterol level in the blood was a major risk factor for heart disease and led directly to the recommendation to reduce the saturated fat in the national diet.
It was alleged that the saturated fat increased the cholesterol level in the blood and therefore increased the risk of developing heart disease. This has never been reliably substantiated.
Although there is no scientific rationale for including carbohydrates in the diet, the deficit in fat had to be replaced by carbohydrates.
Here in the UK, the advice from the authorities is to “base meals on carbohydrates” so that at least 50 per cent of the diet must be carbohydrates in order to comply with the official guidelines.
Although the diet-heart hypothesis has now been totally discredited, governments all over the world continue to promulgate this fundamentally flawed official advice.
There never was universal agreement that the focus of the dietary guidelines should have been on the reduction of fat.
Way back in the 1970s, Professor John Yudkin wrote a book entitled:
Pure, White and Deadly: How Sugar is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It
In his opinion, the focus should have been on sugar and the fact that high levels of consumption cause high quantities of insulin to be produced by the pancreas. He postulated that the insulin would facilitate the deposition of fat inside the arteries.
Since then, our insight and understanding has advanced enormously. It is clear that the case for reducing saturated fat does not stand up to critical examination. By contrast, there is a huge body of evidence that confirms the concepts of John Yudkin.